Monday, November 10, 2008

All a twitter

If you knew me personally, you might know my feelings on social networks. Web 2.0 brought with it the myspaces, the facebooks, and all the like. Personally i am not a fan of those things. The problem with them that I see, is that it takes too much work to keep up with people.

Me being the lazy and quite forgetful type, I rarely even check the social sites I am on, and thus it has been difficult for me to keep in contact with people out of sight (and thus out of mind)

There is one service that I have found to be most manageable, Twitter This service can both be completely web based and through light weight and low maintenance apps.

for the uninitiatied it works like this, you type in your message of 140 characters or less and it goes out to the tubes, and is aggregated by all the people that follow you and vice versa.

The hardest part is finding people you know :D

My twitter username is FrakTruck

see you on the tubes

Sunday, November 9, 2008


a post about the televison I watch

the SciFi Channel is giving me a birthday present this year! and that's the rest of this season (the final one) of Battlestar Galactica.

on to current television: 30 Rock, the greatest thing NBC has produced since the 90s is back finally.

I haven't been watching this season of Heroes because I hear its worse than last season and getting worse each episode.

Chuck has new episodes, and I enjoy this show. It was going to be cancelled since it never picked up ratings (blame the writers strike) but since its cheaper to keep shows than cancel them, they get another chance.

Its Always Sunny in Philidelphia is a magnificent program if you aren't already watching it, you can do so at (all current and past episodes)

Discovery actually has some decent shows coming out this season along with new episodes of mythbusters. Prototype this is fun for engineers like me, but they try way to hard to be Mythbusters 2.0. Time warp is a short show about capturing stuf with Slow mo cameras. In Hi Def I can see this show being really interesting, but its really just more of an artpiece than anything informational.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

politik 2: elected boogaloo

America chose, huzzah

Now we found out if we made the right choice.

Other people can put it more eloquently than I can, but the reason Obama was able to get to so many different kinds of people was his accessibility. I really hope he can carry that to the white house.

Reacting to his acceptance speech, I have to say that I definitely agree with him, RE: the state of our nation. I do believe that our generation and those surrounding it have had it pretty darn "easy"

2 wars, each with no significant national impact, banking and financial sector running free and wild, we are a land of opulence and we've taken it too far. Its time for sacrifices, I've already made several just so I can keep living the way I like to, its not about to end so I'm getting used to it.

Hopefully the rest of America, especially those living in the "real america" will understand and board the train to hopeville, we want you there you know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hello, my name is Chris Schaller and Im a registered Independent who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. I live in North Carolina, a battleground state.

Got that out of the way.

I have always classified myself as an independent, or more favorably a moderate. I classify myself this way because I feel that the two party system is a dismal failure, as it breads pandering and catering to special interests to get elected rather than truly representing the voice of the people. Ideally there would be any number of candidates from any number of parties representing all the dissenting opinions in this great land, but then we come to the problem of the Electoral College which throws all that into the shitter.

Needless to say I alone wont be changing how our goverment works any time soon so I have to live with what we got. I voted the way I did in this election because I feel that of the two candidates (and their running mates) the Democratic ticket best represents what I want to happen to government. I agree with the message of change that Obama has put forth and agree with a majority of his policies.

now conservatives, dont get me wrong, I am a moderate and as is such there are a number of things I agree with John McCain on. Had he been given the nomination in 2004 I would have voted for him. I like the "maverick" but I believe that he has changed some of his idealogies with the intention of winning the election. I am not as familar with conservative circles and beliefs as some of you out in internet land but I believe Sarah Palin lost the election for McCain. She certainly is popular with the "people" of "real America" and thats the ticket that supposedly George II rode to the white house twice, but as an "elite" I guess member of society, I have to say the potential for her to lead this nation scares the shit out of me.

If there is one thing in politics (impossible) that angers me the most it is the negative campaigning. In all the rhetoric I have heard and read in this election from the McCain camp (minus the debates) its been all about how we shouldn't vote for Obama, not why we should vote for McCain. McCain rallies full of people saying how they're scared of an Obama presidency. Thats the most ludicris shit I have ever heard of. Im not frightened of a McCain presidency (just a Palin one)

Its very hard for me to put into words because I prefer not to talk about this stuff but as a moderate (and I do believe I am one) the division in this country that is being talked about and created by the McCain camp is the real enemy. To actually believe that there are parts of this nation that are "un-American" hurts me deeply

To quantify my politics in a sentance I would say this, I despise extremes be they conservative or liberal. I cant watch MSNBC or Fox News without getting very angry at my television.

this is all I have to say for now
see you in 4 years

Friday, October 31, 2008

Further experimentations in the field of yum science

last night I decided to do some cooking experimentation. I took a rather plain Mac and Cheese recipie from the box of muller elbow noodles and spiced it up a bit.

The recipe calls for a rue of butter and flour. I used flour seasoned with BBQ and Mesquite spices, as well as some salt/pepper and oregano, which gave my rue this amazing color and smell. After mixing in some milk for the cheese sauce I added the bacon I had chopped and cooked earlier with a similar spice mixture. After boiling the mixture and simmering I added the cheese, just a simple mild chedder and added it to the already boild macaroni. Baked it with a topping of italian breadcrumbs.

it was quite possibly one of the more delicious things I have ever produced.

Monday, October 27, 2008


On Friday I voted. And unlike 4 years ago I feel that it actually mattered seeing as North Carolina is now a tossup state. The early vote thing has got to be the greatest thing to happen to the electoral college since...well ever

I hope by reading this it reminds you to do you patriotic chore by Nov. 4 Check your state Board of Elections website for early vote info.

you will note I would never dare tell anybody how to vote...just to vote

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A vidja game posting

Its been a while folks, time to dust this thing off with a post about what I've been playing lately.

Its that time of the year again, and by that I mean its time for blizzard to release another expansion to WoW, this won called Wrath of the Lich King focuses on arthas and northrend. Of course I've already pre-ordered mine and cant wait to start, thats a sad little peak into my life. I had the opportunity to play some of the beta and have this much to say, they made the first few levels of 70-80 much more accessible with two different starting zones, also the death knight starting zone/quest line is some of the most fun you can have in an MMO style game.

Regarding WoW's most immediate competitor, Warhammer, I have not played WAR yet, because they don't offer trial subscriptions and I'm not gonna shell out cash to play something for a week and decide I dont like it. From what I've heard its almost entirely pvp balanced and focused, which WoW is not and that's what they are selling the game on: a fully realized pvp experience with a lackluster pve component. The reason why WoW is winning is that it can appeal to both audiences as well as the moderates. The hardcore pvper's already left for AoC and came back so now its something new for them to do.

FYI I'm almost wholly dedicated to pve content in warcraft (armory) primarily because I'm not that good at pvp and it would take up even more of my time.

on to consoles, 2 newish games that I've been playing on the sexbox360 include TigerWoods PGA '09 and The Force Unleashed.

Tiger woods is pretty much the only sports game I'll play. Its the best golf sim I've ever played and it looks fantastic. Granted there isn't a lot of playable content but its highly repeatable. The learning curve isn't too bad and theres tons of difficulty to add in as you get better at the game. That is not to say it is without fault however. While EA picked up a ton of liscences for the game and real courses, there are a few notable things missing, namely Pinehurst, Agusta National, and the trademarked majors (British Open, Masters, US Open). The FedEx cup is there but the feeling of epic golfy-ness seems missing. The most frustrating aspect of the game however is the camera. Occasionaly the camera will jump to the worst angle possible, or trees and shit is just in the way and you cant see anything. Seeing as in the easier difficulty modes you have some control over the ball when it lands, these shots are incredibly frustrating.

The Force unleashed had so much hype attached to it, and I dont think it lived up to expectations. The story was flawed and raised more cannonical questions than you can shake a stick at. it seems it was written for the audience that loved the prequals and loves to make connections between people that shouldn't exist, while other star wars games (namely KOTOR) were designed to be enjoyed by the true fans. That aside, the gameplay is fun, if not frustrating at times when IT WONT LET YOU MOVE AND KILLS YOU!! But thats a curse of most action "platformers" using that term loosely. Interesting to note is that I myself bugged out the game on 3 different occasions, which doesn't say much for the QC teams at lucasarts. For those of you going wtf KOTOR(1 and 2) had literally hundreds of little bugs, I'm not talking about a graphical glitch, I mean purpetually falling through a graphical glitch till you reset the game. Additionally Kotor is a 40+hour game with tons of content, I finished TFU in under 20 while exploring all the content I could find (and I looked), you would think they could have fixed some of those things? Maybe I'm being unfair, I dont exactly work in the gaming industry so take my comments with a grain of salt.

That is all for now
godspeed and good luck

Saturday, July 12, 2008

4e redux

Im gearing up currently for my first 4e campaign and I wanted to share with you background and character info for my Dragonborn Fighter, Balthazar Al-Mua

Character Stats:
Ability Scores
STR 18
CON 14
DEX 13
INT 11
WIS 12
CHA 12

29 HP
19 AC
14 Fort
13 Ref
11 Will

weapon of choice is the battle axe with shield, I've taken the "guardian" path but will def be picking up some Damage dealing skills on the way up. Im attempting with the Battleaxe (a d10 damage weapon) to go with a hybrid build, with the ability to do damage and stay alive, we'll see how successful I am.

with this campaign our DM is planning to incorporate personal histories in the form of personal quests, one for each of the three level tiers and appropriate in difficulty. The format is for heroic tier (1-10) the quest would be to find somebody involved in your life, or in your overall goal. For paragon (10-20) tier is to find an item giving it a sort of artifact status be it related or not to your overall goals. the Epic tier (20-30) would involve doing something "epic" or world altering (i.e. your overall goal etc.)

What follows is what I've come up with for my personal quest and personality.

The Al-Mua clan of Dragonborn is as ancient as the race itself. As is such, the family is a very pure clan of warriors and defenders of the ancient empire of the Dragonborn, a family integral in its defence and government, even related by a thin branch to the ruling family. Since the disbanding of the clans, and the demolishment of the empire, the Al-Mua clan almost completely alone stood together on the island of Dalmasca intending to carry on the old ways, making it their goal and destiny to one day to reunite the clans and forge anew the great empire of the Dragonborn. To achieve this goal the clan elders have aligned themsevles with the King of the Ordelia Empire (a hodgepodge civilization); thinking that service to an established empire can afford benefits that could prove useful. To this end, the recent son of the Al-Mua clan, Balthazar, a student of the God Erathis has completed his training in the Dragonborn tradition and goes abroad in the service of King Ordelia.

The three quests that we came up with are as follows.

Heroic: I intend to seek out an avatar or recieve a prophecy of Bahamut the patron of the dragon born who will hopefully point me in the right direction to re-establish the dragonborn empire

Paragon: i will seek out the Hydra Armor of Dartharos Baldiem, the first leader of the dragonborn civilization

and of course my epic: Reunite the sprawled Dragonborn clans and establish a nation for our own use.

Friday, June 13, 2008


if you are a classic nerd like me, hell if you even know me you probably have at one point in your life leafed through a Dungeons and Dragons book. Though most of you reading this have even participated in such an event as a campaign, there are those of you out there who have not been touched by its greatness.

Last week the much anticipated 4th edition of the classic paper and pencil roleplaying game was released with a rousing cheer in the nerd community, and a whisper elsewhere. I started playing the game towards the tail end of 3rd edition with the Spaniard and some other friends from Connecticut days and we got pretty into it. When 3.5 came out it didn't seem like a lot was changing so the transition wasn't too bad. Granted by this point I had moved to North Carolina and our 3.0 campaign was on indefinite hold. Once when I came back up to the CT we played a bit after converting to the new rules. In college I got involved in some pretty lengthy 3.5 campaigns that were tonnes of fun with Nate and that crew and we pulled a bunch of people into the lifestyle with us.

After graduation, getting a job, and moving down here I found I was hurting for some DnD so after a few trips to my local games store I landed myself in a campaign with some kids who work down in the Depot where I do my contract work. These cats showed me how to really do the "game" aspect of 3.5. Twinking out your character, min maxing, all that fun stuff, it was a totally different game experience than with "its the gnome" or "whatever Nate called his campaigns"

Anyway on to 4e. They changed everything. No joke, no exaggeration. Combat system, class system, magic items, character creation, there is very little left from 3.5 that went unchanged. Its going to be a totally different experience for a lot of people, and there will be some that will reject the change. Personally I'd be excited to play either version, since they both have their merits, but I can see where Wizards was going with 4e. They wanted to make it more accessible to the general public in a world dominated by World of Warcraft and I don't really blame them, they are trying to run a business. I just hope they don't completely abandon support for the 3.5 ruleset, since I know some people who will still play it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The internet is a funny place. To me now I feel comfortable pretty much anywhere on the nettertubes but this didn't used to be the case. Do you remember when the interwebs was a scary place? I do. I remember stumbling upon sites in my youth with flashy banners and sounds and freaking out closing browsers and such thinking somebody was haxxoring my box. I remember getting stupid email viruses and keyloggers and spyware shit all out the ass and then going through the tedious process of cleaning it all out.

Then came web2.0 and as I grew older and wiser the internet began to feel like a second home. A place to re-invent oneself if one chooses to do so. A place to be anonymous in a sea of other anonymous people. I wonder sometimes whether the internet is still dangerous, and I've just become more immune to its dangers...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I was right!

I was just reviewing my post history and came upon an entry regarding the future of American television where I predicted the Discovery venture "Smash Lab" would not see past its pilot run. Well I'm fairly certain I was right. I haven't heard word one about that show in at least 6 weeks.

Uncle Niko Says....

Since getting my Xbox360 my other systems have fallen to the unfortunate wayside. I had the distinct advantage of grabbing games I knew were good, as was the case with Mass Effect, Assassins Creed and Bioshock, and then this month with GTAIV and the Penny Arcade game (which is FANTASTIC for a non full length game). Another pickup for me this month was the latest burnout incarnation, paradise. The open world is pretty inventive and the new crash system is fun, but I miss the individuality of the races in previous games. Its great that you can fuck around whenever you want but you have to hunt out when you want to do a new race if you don't want to repeat the same tracks over and over again.

My PC is currently fascinated with World Of Warcraft still...this is probably because I have nothing else to do during the week and parts of the weekend, and its a pretty good time sink for me. Im the Rogue officer in a guild on Greymane US in a raiding guild 4/5 5/9 in T6 content if that means anything to any of you. I'm probably going to give Age of Conan a try once a buddy of mine comes through with a guest pass primarily for the reason that I hate the WoW PVP system and am yearning to try something new. And the fact that MMO's have been my heroin since Asheron's Call.

In non-gaming news, my boss recently informed our group that we have no future work outside of 1 year so I have once again taken up the mantle of jobseeker in my spare time to solidify my future.

Keep on truckin

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Genius and madness, a fine Culinary line

In the ever increasing war on food boredom I have added a few recipes to my stable. Please indulge and elaborate at your leisure

Sosage Mc. Pasta
1 package Johnsonville Sweet Basil Italian Sausage
1 jar Classico Traditional Sweet Basil sauce

Cut the sausage into small pieces ~4 per link and cook thoroughly in oil in a fry pan (I dont fuck around with pork so mine are 90% done with a decent crust before I take them off)

Simmer in the sauce with additional oregano till your satisfied in its doneness

serve over pasta of your choice

Omega's Universal Marinade
I use this on chicken, pork, beef, what have you, anything in small pieces to be fried in a pan w/oil

Teriyaki Sauce
Barbecue Sauce (this is where I lose a lot of people Im sure, I only use Bone Sucking Sauce)

its pretty tasty, toss the remnants in towards the end of cooking for a good coat.,1977,FOOD_9936_25143,00.html
this is fantastic btw I use baby portabella for the mushrooms though
ProTip, dont use a high wall pan or you end up simmering instead of thickening the sauce at the end

Friday, May 2, 2008


This evening, I pulled out my trumpet (she without a name) and blew some notes for the first time in almost a year. I learned that when you spend 13 years doing something, you don't ever forget how to do it. Much like Sam did at school I came to the realization that I've spent over half of my life with the harsh mistress of the trumpet and I shouldn't be so quick to let my fingers and lips lose those hard earned callouses.

Of course playing could be hard considering I live in a relatively well populated apartment complex. Tonight I played softly with my most noise deadening mute. The walls are thick enough that nobody would have been disturbed by that much, but I think I could be a little bolder during the day, when Im usually the only person I see in my building.

Getting to another topic. Recent comments from old friends Mike, Christine, and Rebbecca have led me to believe that this thing I'm doing here is accomplishing at least one of my goals, communicating with friends far and near. That being said, I still get very little communication from people I know. I can be stubborn so feel free to bug me on this front. I leave my current contact info below to that end

AIM: TheWookie13 (unchanged note :D)
Phone # 252-288-7177 (highlight)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Next Gen

So with my generous tax refund coming in this past weekend I went out and purchased myself and Xbox 360 and some games. My first next gen console. I was debating for a while between the xbox and the PS3 but what I figured was if I were to buy both eventually I would get the xbox now since its currently tops but eventually I figur the ps3 will reclaim the glory of its predecessors before the next next gen systems come out.

Anyway the details: my gamertag is FrakTruck and the games i got were Assassins creed and lost odyssey

initial reviews to follow

AC: This game is great. I like the premise, I like the action, I like all of it. Its completely immersive and if you haven't played it, you probably will be confused by how it will end up working. If I were to complain about 1 thing its that after the first set of missions, the gameplay basically repeats itself just at a harder difficulty. The story however more than makes up for it.

EDIT: APR3 (12:30AM) LO review

This game was pretty cool for the first couple of hours. It definitely had potential in my mind till they introduced 2 new characters, young children who through some ridiculous plot twisting appear and join the party. It is from this point on that the game seemed to go downhill for me. The writing got sloppy, the characters making huge leaps in logic without really explaining anything, ambiguous character traits surface (ex, Kaims immense sentimentality vice his incredible blood lust for revenge) and seriously, everything these kid characters do makes me want to toss things at my TV and they're involved in EVERY CUT SCENE so you can imagine my rage. I don't know what it is, maybe its their terrible voice acting or the fact that other than being a decent healer they're incredibly useless (I've permanently benched mack till the game opens up and I can level him without him doing nothing every battle)

lets move on. Graphically the game is pretty good, though on my TV (not HD mind) it doesn't look any better than FFXII and the fighting system isn't really anything special except that magic is incredibly overpowered and there are entire zones where melee is just useless. Theres also not a lot of freedom yet and I'm 12 hours in and on disc 2 of 4. Im still being prodded along this path with nowhere else to go pretty much. The Challenge rating is pretty high for an RPG...the AI will target your weak characters and constantly barrage them which until you learn how to deal with each group of enemies in the zone you will have trouble, and the bosses so far have been interesting battles at least.

this looks like a terribad review, I know this but these are just my personal gripes. Im gonna keep going of course since the 360 is unfortunately RPG starved at this stage with this, eternal sonata and Mass Effect being the only high profile RPGs that I know of (though fallout3 and fable 2 are coming in 6 months)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


For those of you taking my advice and watching BSG, I would heartily suggest watching the miniseries first...things will make a lot more sense for the first few episodes of season 1...except for like the one thing I really watched it for. Anybody happen to know what that picture is the pilots tap on the way out of the ready room (episode 1...can be seen in the background on Colonial 1 as well)

that is all

also: Nicki Clyne (Specialist Cally) needs to be in more things

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Discourse in the complexities of the human brain

I need therapy.

Dont freak out on me. Im not clinically depressed or anything (at least I don't think so and that has to count for something right?). To sum it up I would say that I have a ton of neuroses and quirks that keep me from enjoying all aspects of my current life.

Apparently finally getting out on my own, something I've wanted to do for years, has caught up with me. Being thrust so far out of my comfort zone my brain starts activating my defense mechanisms. Heres the strange part though (and probably why I'm not being committed right now), I know what my defense mechanisms are and I'm fighting them. Like full on, bareknuckle combat. Which in the end only serves to increase my anxiety.

Well it feels better to say it at least.

I plan to find my camera this weekend and potentially take pictures of my "situation" down here in the dirty bear (new bern) to be posted here post haste I assure the three of you that read this. Also hoping to expand the 'content' here as I go. Expect link lists and databases etc.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Since probably about the middle of senior year, my fanaticism for manga/anime petered out significantly. Probably due to the inordinate amount of Baja work I had to contend with. But nevertheless I haven't yet gotten back to full strength. So far am I out of the fold am I that it may be to far gone to recover that former zeal.

In the erstwhile I found a passion for classic American television. Fueled in that final semester by shows like Scrubs (I watched all 5 seasons that were out at the time), and heroes with the staples of mythbusters and family guy, I rekindled a passion for American storytelling that still continues.

I believe it was heroes that marked the transition for me, because I've always felt that the writing for this show takes a lot from anime style storytelling of non linear plots vice the self contained style of classic American shows. And this I think is what makes it both so entertaining and popular. Unfortunately the rabble rousing of an impatient audience combined with the writers strike to ruin season two inexorably.

Currently you will find me watching old seasons of Star Trek: TNG, because I feel its important to immerse yourself in the classics, as well as keeping current with several discovery channel shows. One of which is their new venture, smash lab. While "entertaining" this show legitimately makes me angry. As an educated engineer, the concepts and theories presented in this show are abhoring as I think all people of my ilk should be. Lets use an example: "Hey guys, I found this great insulating material...lets come up with a wacky illconcieved concept to shield a house from the firestorm of a forest fire that wont work but talk about it like were awesome and made the first step to save homes." and scene...I rest my case, this show won't last beyond what they've already filmed.

I was ultimately inspired to post today because I just finished watching the first season of Battlestar Galactica. It is rare if ever that I am litteraly shocked by plot twists...this show brings them to me in spades. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite being a few years behind the curve. If you haven't yet, I suggest it heartily.

Signing off

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Spaghetti Chronicles

Since I moved into my apartment over 6 months ago, I've been attempting to "fend for myself" with the few culinary arts that I learned in my years at home with family. If there is anything that I can say I know how to do with the utmost certainty its boil pasta.

This seemed to change when I moved to New Bern. Any pasta that I have made since I started living here has been, in a word, slimy. Normally drained pasta dries rather quickly after boiling...mine however gets very the gluten from the wheat is sticking to the outside and making it well, slimy. It even leaves a residue on my colander. Its been a baffling case I've been attempting to solve for going on 6 months now.

Experiments thus far:

1. Your Colander Sux
While I didn't find the root cause in this experiment I did what types of colanders do and dont suck. Avoid cheap plastic ones if you can, they drain poorly and are a bitch to clean. Same goes for small holed metal as well...I dumped a potful into some cheapo i got at wal-mart and it took 5 mins to drain fully. The best I've found is a wire mesh, and you can use it to strain as well if it pleases you. But sadly, the colander was not the root cause of my slime problem.

2. A water problem?
I had thought that because I was on city water there could be impurities fuxing up my pasta. So I tried spaghetti using filtered tap water. Unfortunately, this didn't solve the problem (///.-)

Future experiments:

I have no idea if we use any sort of water softening device here at the APT so I'm actually considering buying some bottled water and using that...see if it makes any difference. If it doesn't, then I think I will have come to the inevitable conclusion...

When I knew I'd be moving out I bought a relatively cheap cookware set from target. Everything is this non-stick crap but IDK what it is since its certainly not teflon. ANYWAY, I was used to boiling pasta in a big ol stainless pot back home so I may have to venture to replicate said pot for another experiment.

Yes. I am a little bit strange aren't I? Well this is what happens when you live alone...your mind...wanders

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You'll Never Walk Alone

I dont often get to chat about this stuff with my usual company but I figured why not put it out on here.

If you don't know I have been trying to get into international soccer for the past few years and I've attached myself to an English Premier league team; Liverpool FC. This season they are participating in the FA Cup, Champions League, and of course the premier league (two international tournaments, and the English seasonal league).

If you don't count their premiership performance they're doing quite well. However you can't discount the largest grossing soccer league in the which they cant seem to do anything but suck. I was told awhile back that in Soccer, a tie is often times as good as a win. Not in the case of the Reds. Merrysiders cant seem to get a win, but 5 draws in a row seems fine right? WRONG. Ugh, I can't really explain it since all my soccer info i get from and
but basically, the team has given up on premier league hopes and focused on Champions etc. Its a shame really.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Watch the World

This month but particularly this week has been party to some of the biggest news events in recent history.

Democratic Nomination: Its a dead heat between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And no matter who wins the nomination it will be history. Who do I support? Im not really sure yet. Though early on I have to say Clinton gives me a bad vibe, and the former Presidents actions during the campaign have made me lose confidence. Additionally, I hear that one of my friends (the Deej) is/was working for the Obama campaign. He cares about this stuff a bit more than I do so I usually trust his opinion.

Castro steps down: Just yesterday or so Fidel stepped down as leader of Cuba. An interesting move. This will pretty much guarantee that the succession of his brother Raul is set in stone before he dies and the US government nor the South American alliance (Bolivia, Nicaragua etc.) will move in during the confusion.

Toshiba is FAIL: Toshiba backs out of Hi Def DVD Format War to leave Sony Blu-Ray as the going forward standard. Remember the betamax/VHS war? Toshiba lost that one to Sony as well. MechEs from 2k7 will remember the paper we read on that "war." Well I'm sure another one will be written about this one. I am particularly glad That this format war is over before I ever had a chance to purchase an HD player. Saves me a lot of hassle when I actually have spendable money.

Musharraf's defeat: Acting President of Pakistan's political party loses the majority of parliament seats, meaning that even after Bhutto's Assassination, democracy still has a chance in Pakistan.

Writers Strike: last week saw the end of the Writers Guild Strike. Finally something new may be on about 3 months (///.-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Things that should have been

Songs I think should have been in a guitar hero game:
Disclaimer: I haven't played rockband so I don't know what songs may be contained within

in no particular order.

-Thunderstruck, AC/DC (hell any AC/DC song...)
-Until the day I die, Story of the Year
-Don't Start a Band, Reel Big Fish (if but for the irony only)
-Tell Me Baby, RHCP
-Do What You Want, OK Go
-Crownless, Nightwish
-Born to Lead, Hoobastank
-Deny, Default
-The industrial Strength Hoedown Extravaganza, Jon Finn

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Patuxent Patriot

Another week another trip for some BS meeting I really don't need to be at. This time we go to Patuxent River MD for a NAVAIR briefing on the project Im working on. Travel monday all afternoon into the night, then 2 meetings tuesday then travel all tuesday afternoon back to NC

Something Interesting I noted on my way to MD was that both flights had female pilots. This has never happened to me before to my knowledge. Not that its a sexism issue I would just tend to think that aviation has historically been a mans passion, so its a unique occurrence to even find one female commercial pilot let alone two in a row.

Such was not the case on my way home. Oh well, observation will continue.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Hi Im Christopher Schaller, Founder and CEO of Christofone. It is my vision and goal to provide to you, my loyal customers, with unprecedented cell phone service. It begins with our most basic of plans. For 20 bux a month you can make a call every once in a while from our dilapidated old cellphones with batteries larger than the phone itself.

For an extra 10$ though you can upgrade to the classic flip phone...with an LCD display only found on the fanciest of calculators.

But the real strength of Christofone is our Rape-you-in-the-ass hidden fees. Did you know that it costs you 5cents just to turn the phone on? Yep thats good old fashioned service right there.

With Christofone, you're going to like how thick our bill is...I guarantee it.

Annnnnd Scene.

I had just woke up when I saw one of those tracfone commercials and was inspired.

if you buy a cell phone from Dollar General its time to take a good close look at your life.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Birthdays

It was to say the least, uneventful. No cake, and everybody is sold out of Ds's despite being full up 1 week before Christmas.

Birthdays usually get me thinking about my own life in the days immediately following..and this usually doesn't end well for me. To say the least I'm not in a good mood today.

There are a lot of things that are bothering me at this point in my life...most of which stem from the same core issue. The crushing loneliness of being 800 Miles from my closest friends is really starting to get to me. It has been 6 months since I've seen face to face anybody I'd ever had a connection with and beyond that there are friends that I haven't even spoken to in a year maybe.

and if anybody starts that "oh omega's gettin emo again" just shut the fuck up.

This is not a "give me sympathy post" I don't really want to see my inbox full of "hope you feel better" stuff. Im writing this here because it's the easiest way to get shit off my chest.

Anyway I hope everybody out there reading this is doing well. And I mean that.

I kinda feel better already.

I'm disallowing comments for this post...for obvious reasons.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Super Stallion

No the title doesn't refer to my sexual stamina.

It is the military nickname for the CH-53 Helicopter, Sea Stallion if you're nasty. The workhorse (pun intended) of the Navy and Marine Corps is a heavy lift heli built by Sikorsky in the late 60s...and it is still in heavy service today by both the US and its Allies and will probably continue to be for the next 15 years.

This is the chopper that I pretty much dedicate all my work time to, the two projects focused on making the aircraft lasting as long as possible.

Its a beautiful piece of aerospace tech even if it was built during the dark ages of engineering, 3 beastly engines that give a total of 15,000 HP and enough carrying capacity to tow a Humvee, with a cadre of marines in the trunk. Oh and that huge prong on the nose? Mid air refueling boom.

Sorry, I like to gush about aircraft.

But for serious, I thought somepersons may care to know what I'm working on...thats basically all I can tell you in specific though, this being public domain and all.

I have had the opportunity to learn about some exciting technology working on these the cast aluminum with 100% improved strength properties but similar density and ductility characteristics, or the fact that transparisteel may be viable in the near read that properly...transparent steel

So anyway tomorrow I celebrate the anniversary of my birth. I plan to bake a cake of some sorts and purchase a DS.

That is all
enjoy your afternoon

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Yesterday I got back from my business trip to Pittsburgh, if you've never been its a lot like New York, just less drab and much less...square.

It was snowing pretty much the whole trip and it got me thinking about how much I miss the northern weather. I've always preferred colder weather, its just something thats been in my blood forever. Down here in NC the weather is so temperate its almost painful to me. This winter, we've had at least five days at 70+ and then the next day it'll go down to maybe 40...

I miss snow...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

wind sleet snow hail

Rainy, windy. A miserable day dawns on New Haven's Tweed regional airport. As I prepare to fly out I am greeted with interesting thoughts regarding my day spent at the Sikorsky plant. It was not my first trip but this one was different. I guess I was able to look at the place of legends with a more critical eye this time around.

There was the standard annoying check-in procedure for visitors. It looks like it will keep the place safe but if you look like a contractor, the armed security guards rarely give you a second glance.

Then there was the trek through the plant to our contacts desk area. A grueling 7 minute journey through the bowls of the plant. As I walk this path in my hot jacket and bum toe I can't help but wonder if Sikorsky hates their employees.

We arrive at our 'scheduled' Conference room. Though apparently its been assigned to somebody else. A minor verbal tussle ensues. Our contact is vehement about kicking out the standing meeting that was about to start (of about 10 more people then we had) because she registered the room. The conflict was resolved when the rooms schedule was checked. We were in another room altogether, and not too far from where we were.

The rest of the day was a fun adventure into learning how to do the analysis we needed to do.

Much like law, the world of the aeroindustry I am quickly coming to realize is based almost completely on precedent. We must do it like it has always been done, and be slow to change with the rest of the industry appears to be the mantra. While the advent of modern computing tools may have made the process more efficient, and more accurate, there are people in the industry that are paid to check everything by hand. Sikorsky's procedure for signing off on a new technology takes nearly a year of testing and analysis, and the process for approving/certifying new vendors even longer.

This should disturb me. But it doesn't. Probably because this industry stands atop the shoulders of giants like Igor Sikorsky. There is a reputation associated with that name, as there is to Boeing, Lockheed, and Airbus. There is a legacy to preserve in the Aging Aircraft industry and no force of nature will likely change it in a timely manner.

On previous visits to Sikorsky I got to take a peek at Igor's office, kept perfectly since he died in 1972. It dawned on me as I was traveling today that while it may be annoying as hell to youngins like me, if it aint broke, don't fix it is the mantra for the present.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Magical Mystery Tour

I write to you know from the Philadelphia international airport, Terminal F gate 12. Also known as
"The Planes To The Middle of NOWHERE" terminal awaiting my flight to New Haven Connecticut. This journey started for me at around 6AM this morning when I awoke from an odd night of sleep. I reached the New Bern "Airport" at roughly 8 am for my 9:30 flight. If you have never been to EWN (New Bern City code) allow me to describe it for you. 2 gates: 1 used by USair that runs 5/6 flights per day to Charlotte, and one for Delta, who runs 1 flight/day to Atlanta. 90% of the 'airport' lies in front of the security "checkpoint" which is newer than the rest of the place. The people that run the ticketing counter also are the ground crew, and the baggage handlers.

Back to the story. I arrive at 8am for my 9:30 flight. There two lines, longer than 20 people each stacked up in front of the USAir desk. In an airport whose flights carry a max of 15 people, this is bad news.

Turns out that the two flights to Charlotte afore mine were cancelled due to bad weather. Took me 1.5 hours but I got to the front of the line to reschedule my delayed flights. After checking my baggage and getting my new tickets I sit down to check my morning email. Five minutes later an announcement rings out over the terminal. My flight has been cancelled. Joy. Rapture. These are the emotions of a stranded passenger.

So I get back in line. There are still people there from when I arrived this morning. Oi.

Turns out I cant get to New Haven today from New Bern. Good news! They'll taxi me to another shitball airport in Jacksonville so I can do the standard Charlotte, Philly, NH route.

Fast forward to Jacksonville. Im Flagged for special screening...guess I was the lucky ticket that day. Im not on any watch lists that I know of and I work for a government contractor so this is an unusual treat for me. Unfortunately I forgot to take my leatherman out of my carryon...there goes 60 bucks. The one redeeming feature of Jville airport is that the Marines use the tarmac as a training area for their H-53 pilots so while waiting for my new flight I got to watch a chopper take off and land a few times.

The shortcut to where I am now is that I had a mad dash in Charlotte, they closed the doors right behind me and a comfortable layover in philly. Needless to say its been a long day. And I still have a flight on an old Dash-8 prop plane (I call them Bumblebees) to contend with before Im done.

I never have easy travel days...its part of the magic of living in a city where I have to connect to get anywhere and usually going to places I have to connect to get too. Good news Is Im racking up miles and legs for personal travel.

And Im not done travelling yet. Still have a trip to pittsburgh a week from today and another short hop to Pax River MA in a few weeks

So for now I say bon nuit

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bachelor Gourmet

Since I knew I would eventually be moving out of my parents house I began to learn how to cook at the beginning of junior year. Now that I live alone, I have the opportunity to expand my culinary skills and its been quite fun. Here is a selection of "reciepies" (more like variations on a theme right now) that I would put in a cookbook called "the bachelor gourmet" If you try them I want to know what you think. Comments, Emails, AIM is all accepted tender.

Chicken Variation:
Use in salads, sitrfry's, basically anything non-baked.

Boneless chicken breasts sliced to strips.
Marinate for at least one hour in a bowl with "Barbecue" Seasoning (a spice blend in your grocery) and Teriyaki sauce. To conserve resources, use less sauce and toss regularly.
Cook in skillet till done. Just before plating or using, toss the rest of the marinade in the skillet and let it cook onto the chicken

Roasted Potatoes:

Roast one head of garlic by slicing it in half horizontally and wrap in tinfoil doused in oil with salt and pepper (roast in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes)

Cut potatoes into quarters or smaller
in a large bowl toss the potato pieces, some oil, barbecue seasoning (its really this awesome) and the roasted garlic (after a good smashing)
roast in oven at 350 for about an hour, +/- 15 mins.

you can also cut into smaller pieces and fry in skillet, I haven't nailed down the timing yet

Mock pepper steak:

Use top sirloin cut and slice into fairly thin strips
Marinate in a combination of Worcestershire and Teriyaki sauce
Slice one (or one half depending on size) of a vidalia (sweet) onion and a pepper (any color but green)
fry onion and pepper in oil till onion is translucent
Add meat and cook till done

Omega's beef stroganouf:

Top Sirloin cut into thinish strips
Slice one onion and cook in a pan with butter till translucent
at the same time cook a package of mushrooms (I like sliced baby portabello's best) in butter, cook until significantly reduced
combine meat and mushrooms in main pan
once meat is cooked turn heat off and empty one 8oz of sour cream in main pan
toss until evenly distributed.
serve on top of cooked egg noodles

thats all I have for now, I'll edit this post if I come up with more, I tagged it "cooking" for easy future reference

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Welcome to 2008. I didn't do much to ring in the new year....mostly played videogames and watched the various coverages on the various networks. Fallout Boy on fox was worth it...but most of their audience wouldn't appreciate/know that they didn't write the song "beat it." For the countdown I traditionally watch Dick Clark. I remember last year the poor man could barely keep up with the countdown...this year was definitely better in that respect though he still has some speaking issues from the stroke.

Today was spent in bed for a good portion, the rest gaming and cleaning up my office area.

The game of choice was Disgaea, I was lucky enough earlier this year to find a copy online (new) that wasn't unjustly expensive. I have about 15 hours logged but I'm only on chapter four. I've been spending my recent time grinding out levels and mastery levels. Believe it or not its actually quite fun. The game is so damn complex the player is constantly learning what is possible and how to maximize their characters.

Well thats pretty much all I can think of for now. I don't plan to write everyday...just hope to at least once a week. I do know that my next entry will be cooking related though so stay tuned